There are two types of parks which have Park Homes and Leisure Homes sited upon them they are Residential Parks, and Leisure Parks.
Residential Parks enables residents to live on the park all year around as their main and only residence where as Leisure Parks are holiday parks, and can only be used as secondary homes, and you must not use the home as you main or only residence.
In addition check that the Park’s Site Licence is on display, which it should be, either in the Park Office or on the park notice board. From this, you will be able to check that the Site Licence is a permanent one and not just for a number of years until, say, the Park Owner’s lease runs out if he/she does not own the freehold of the land. You can also check that the Site Licence is for residential purposes for twelve months of the year. Beware that some parks have a 12 month licence for holiday purposes, but you still need to have your primary residence elsewhere.
Residential Parks, enables you to live on this park all year around as your main or only residence, and you would normally be issued with a Mobile Homes Act Agreement, and you will also be protected by a legal act to protect you as a resident on the park.
Leisure Parks, are for leisure purposes, they are not to be your only residence must be your secondary residence. Regardless as to the term the park is open whether it is 10 months or 12 months, you must have a secondary place of living. In addition you will not be issued with a Mobile Homes Act Agreement, and will not be protected by the Mobile Homes Act. It is also likely that your home can only remain on the park for a limited time, such as 25 years or 50 years, and should you wish to remain on the park after this term, you may be required to purchase a further home to replace the original.
There has been an increased tendency for holiday home owners to start using, or consider using their holiday home as their main place of residence which is not lawful, and can face serious action from the local council if this is found out to be happening.
It may be that holiday home owners have opted for this option due to their requirement to retiring and wanting to live in a relaxed atmosphere with the minimum of work and maintenance to be carried out as the park operator does this on their behalf, or it may also be, because of the discounted rates of Council Tax.
Whatever the reason, this is something that both the Industry and the local council frowns upon, as it places both the homeowner and the park owner in a precarious position.
Once the Local Council finds out that holiday homes are being used for residential purposes, they can prosecute the park owner for either breach of his/ her Site Licence Conditions or for breach of his/ her Planning Consent. They may also serve an Enforcement Order directly upon the resident to remove their home from the Park. We do advise you to think very carefully before placing, what is usually most people’s largest asset, in such a precarious position.
At the same time, you should never take the Park Owners advice as to whether you can live on their park all year round or not, as there are some park operators (only a few) who mis-sell leisure homes as residential homes, and therefore they are unlikely to tell you the truth. Carryout you own investigations, contact the council, ask to see the site license, ask to see the occupational agreements, and be sure that what you are buying is what you think you are buying.